Flores vs Shaw

Republican Cary Shaw (right) is challenging Democratic incumbent Gilbert Flores (left) for County Commissioner Precinct 3.

The race for Northeast Lubbock County Commissioner is up for grabs.

Democratic incumbent Gilbert Flores is facing Republican Cary Shaw. 

Challenger Cary Shaw said he wants to make infrastructure a priority for years to come. He said a lack of paved roads in the northeast keeps development going in the opposite direction.

"The other precincts got their pavements done a street at a time. We just have to work it in the budget to be able to do that," Shaw said.

Commissioner Gilbert Flores said it takes $30,000 to caliche a mile of dirt road. There are more than 300 in that precinct alone.

"Lubbock County does not have enough money to pave or caliche every road in my precinct. We're doing the best with what we have," Flores said.

This year's county budget asked residents to make tax investments into public safety.

It adopted the same rate as last year, and used the excess revenue to boost volunteer fire departments and the sheriff's office.

That added another $2 million to the law enforcement budget. 

Commissioner Flores said the whole county benefits from this.

"The sheriff's department needs the help. There's 1,300 people in jail. 1,300 inmates, and the main thing is the sheriff's department cannot keep their help," Flores said.

Flores said his opponent does not have the experience needed to be a county commissioner.

"I've been a businessman for 30 years or more. I know the county issues. I have budgeted over and over," Flores said. "It's a tough job and not just anybody can come in here and take my place. This gentleman running against me has no experience whatsoever."

Shaw said he does, and accuses Flores of abandoning his precinct.

"I run my own business. I do a budget. People say you can't run the county as a business, but I wonder why. The reason we got tax and spend is because we're not running it as a business and living on the money that we have like we should," Shaw said. "He's never voted to take care of Precinct 3. He's only voted as a yes man to the other precincts."

If elected, Shaw said his biggest priority would be reducing the county's"tax and spend" policies.

He said Lubbock County does not have a money problem, but a spending problem.

"They're not taking care of the money that we take from the people already, so bringing the government back to the people to where they have a say so on the money. I promised everybody I won't vote for a tax increase that doesn't go on a ballot first," Shaw said.

If Flores is reelected, he said his focus will be on multiple issues, including census dollars, tackling overpopulation in jails, and redistricting.

He said it is important minorities have representation.

"We need to hold onto this position, we need to make sure a minority like myself gets elected in my precinct. We need representation in the courts, city council and the school board, so redistricting is very important next year," Flores said.

While Precinct 3 has changed hands over the past couple decades, it has not elected a Republican since the 1980s. 

Election Day is Nov. 3.